A squirrel tinkers with a juice box.

A squirrel tinkers with a juice box.

Wildlife feeding is the new ‘littering’

BC SPCA says habituated animals are put at risk when people feed them.

British Columbia is home to a vast array of wildlife, and it is often tempting for humans to feed the adorable ducks, cute raccoons or the darling deer. Unfortunately, wildlife often pays for humans’ bad habits. Whether that’s intentionally feeding the geese or gulls, putting out garbage in non-wildlife-proof bins, or littering, such routines contribute too often to habituated animals being unnecessarily injured or killed.

“The intentional feeding of wildlife is 100 per cent preventable,” said BC SPCA chief scientific officer Dr. Sara Dubois

“Habituated wildlife are more susceptible to predators and vehicle collisions, and no matter how often the public is asked to please, not feed the wildlife, there are always those who can’t resist, or are unaware of the dangers. Ticketing is rare even if bylaws are in place, as it’s hard to catch people in the act. We need to make it socially unacceptable – just like littering.”

Feeding bears, cougars, coyotes and wolves is illegal under the Wildlife Act, she notes, but even so, such animals are often killed by conservation officers if they become too used to humans and human food, and increase the risk of human-wildlife interaction and potential conflict.

“Feeding wildlife is not only a bad idea for the animal, but for you, your pets, your neighbor and your community,” Dubois said.

One of the rules of disqualification for the BC SPCA’s annual Wildlife-In-Focus photography contest – still open at for entries to amateur B.C. photographers (email contest@wildarc.com) until Sept. 30 – is wildlife feeding, she says.

Any disqualified photos submitted are later used for “what not to do” examples in the BC SPCA’s educational materials and programs.

“Just because you love animals or even if they’re ‘begging’ for it, it’s best for everyone if you don’t feed wild animals,” Dubois says.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Just Posted

Dooris Raad was last seen in South Surrey’s Ocean Park neighbourhood on June 7. (Surrey RCMP photo)
Lorraine Gibson, 90, received a COVID-19 immunization at the South Surrey Park and Ride vaccination clinic. (File photo: Aaron Hinks)
Surrey has had 25% of B.C.’s total COVID-19 cases

Surrey recorded 4,012 cases in May

Scales of Justice, Image courtesy Creative Outlet
Scales of Justice, Image courtesy Creative Outlet
Teacher’s elbow injury case against Surrey School District, WorkSafeBC struck by judge

Judge says processes put in place by legislation, collective agreement must be followed

Doris Anderson’s digital triptych Aberration, which she is marketing as an NFT.
Semiahmoo Peninsula abstract painter dives into NFT market

Works sold as one-of-a-kind digital files

Vancouver law courts. (File photo)
Surrey murderer loses appeal in 2011 Christmas eve shooting in Newton

Bradley McPherson, 28, was shot in the back of the head during an after-hours house party

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Most Read